Does Toner Really Last Longer Than Ink?
When looking for a new printer for your business or personal use, you should keep in mind that it will require regular ink supplies. The two most popular printer types include laser and inkjet printers.
A laser printer uses a toner cartridge, while an inkjet model uses an ink cartridge. Knowing which cartridge will last longer is crucial to ensure you save money on printer supplies.
In this article, we've discussed more about toner vs ink longevity. We have also touched on additional details you need to know about the two types of ink cartridges to help you easily decide which one will work for your business needs.
Does Toner Really Last Longer Than Ink?
Toner generally lasts longer than ink. A typical toner will produce more images compared to ink before it runs out, and you won't need to replace it as frequently as you'd do with ink.
A typical toner will provide you with between 2500 to 4000 pages of print, based on approx. 5% coverage 9this is roughly 1/3 of a double-spaced text page). For dense pages filled with graphics and small font text, you should expect an output of around 1000 pages for a toner cartridge.
There are also high capacity, long lasting ink cartridges that can produce a whopping 12,000 pages based on the 5% coverage approximation.
However, the actual number of pages your toner will cover can vary from individual to individual, depending on various factors. These include your printer make/model, printer settings, black and white vs color printing, and the type of printout (e.g., photo, a text document, etc.).
Still at it, toners also boast an extended lifespan than inks; inks will dry faster, but toners will never dry out, thanks to their powder nature! Nonetheless, when it comes to "do cartridges expire?" it is worth noting that both types of printer cartridges tend to degrade over time.
That said, there are several measures you can put in place to extend the lifespan of your toner or ink, as explained below.
Tips for extending the toner lifespan:
Tips for extending ink lifespan:
Difference Between Toner and Ink
Though most people use the terms toner and ink interchangeably, it's worth noting that they refer to two completely different cartridges for printers.
The primary difference between the two cartridges is that ink comes in liquid form and is used in inkjet printers. And the toner cartridge contains powder and is used in laser printers.
Let's discuss more about each type of cartridge.
What is a Toner Cartridge?
A toner cartridge contains toner, a dry substance that doesn't stain like the ink in ink cartridges. However, improperly handling this substance can turn into a messy affair.
Black and white (monochrome) laser printers utilize a black toner cartridge. Color laser printers, on the other hand, use up to 4 individual color toner cartridges (namely, yellow, cyan, magenta, and black) to produce a color print.
A drum unit is crucial for a toner cartridge to work in laser printers. It simply works with the cartridge to help fuse the toner powder to the printing paper. The drum can come integrated into a cartridge, or it may be sold separately.
Models with built-in drums usually cost more compared single toner cartridge models. But the good thing is that they're more convenient since you won't need to replace the drum often.
Whenever you replace your toner, you're essentially replacing the drum. Separate drum units will last for about 3-4 toners.
What is Ink Cartridge?
A printer cartridge is used in inkjet printers. The ink inside this cartridge is either dye-based or pigment-based., depending on the cartridge you get.
But most inkjet printer models on the market today use dye-based inks. This type of ink is popular because it's more economical and produces vibrant, lifelike photos and color prints.
However, the dye-based inks aren't waterproof, making them highly susceptible to smudging. Most prints will fade after approx. 25 years.
Pigmented-based inks deliver prints with crisper finish and have a quicker dry time. They're popular among professional photographers due to their ability to produce archival-quality text and images.
Pigment inks are also water- and UV-resistant and will start showing signs of fading in about 200 years!
If you're in the T-shirt printing business, you may be interested in Cricut's new infusible ink. This heat-set ink is designed to personalize items with long-lasting prints. It is flake-free, peel-proof, and wash-proof.
Regarding the toner vs ink cost issue, inkjet cartridges will cost you less upfront. However, you will end up investing in many ink cartridges than toner cartridges in the long run.
This is because toners are long-lasting, and even if they cost you more, you won't need to replace them as frequently as the ink units.
How long does toner last in a laser printer?
A toner cartridge in use will last for approx. 2500 to 4000 pages. The life of a toner cartridge for a laser printer usually comes expressed in the packaging (in terms of the number of pages it can print).
However, as we mentioned earlier, the actual number may vary depending on factors like the print made and model, your printer settings, type of printout, etc.
When not opened, you should expect a toner cartridge to have a shelf life of around 2 years in its sealed packaging.
If you open its protective bag, the lifespan comes all the way down to 6 months only.
In summary, toners will last longer than inks. If you print more frequently and want something that will produce multiple prints before you can think of a replacement, you should get a toner printer.
Though a toner has a higher upfront cost, the investment is worth it and money-saving than inks requiring regular replacements.
An ink cartridge will make a more viable choice for home printing or a business that handles less printing demands.
Be sure to implement the tips we have shared with you above on extending the life of your toner and ink to ensure they stay in top condition for a long time.
Having dissected curial details regarding toner and ink, we're now hopeful that choosing which one to use for your business will be an easy feat for you.